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© 2015 Medical Travel Today

Medical Travel Today is a publication of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, a public relations firm based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences, with an international clientele. CPR, its Partners, and clients are at the nexus of where medical travel is today, and where it will be tomorrow.

Laura Carabello

Laura Carabello

Managing Editor
Megan Kennedy

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Laura Carabello

News in Review

U.S. Hospital Looks to China for More Medical Tourists

More Chinese Travel Abroad for Medical Treatment

Indian Medical Tourism Growing at 30 Percent: Minister

Center Urged to Set Up Body to Promote Medical Tourism

Health and Wellness Industry to Get Boost from Karnataka Government

Unequal Treatment Where Employers Use Quality Control to Shape Healthcare

Seeing the Doctor Abroad: Why Medical Tourism is Booming in Asia

Spotlight Interview

Anna Wexler, Graduate Student, MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society, Freelance Writer and Filmmaker


The Changing Face of Dental Tourism

Industry News

Global Wellness Institute Teams with UNWTO to Bring Wellness Tourism Increased Recognition

Transforming Access to Healthcare

Capstone Consulting Group, LLC Introduces The Healthcare Research Foundation

Sagres Vacations and Medical Port Announce Medical Tourism Programs

IV International Exhibition of Medical Tourism, SPA&Wellness - Healthcare Travel Expo

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors

Upcoming Events

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress

International Health Tourism Conference

Kuwait Medical Tourism Conference & Exhibition

Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress

Medical Fair India

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015

VI International Medical Forum & IV International Exhibition of Medical Tourism - Healthcare Travel Expo

2nd Istanbul Medical, Health, Geriatrics, Termal, Spa & Wellness Tourism Fair & Congress

22nd Kazakhstan International Healthcare Exhibition

Destination: Health Canadian Medical Tourism Trade Show

9th Annual 2015 Global Spa & Wellness Summit

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Volume 8, Issue 9

Dear Colleagues:

There is significant variability among healthcare systems around the world in terms of accessibility, functionality, quality and cost.

Freelance writer and documentary filmmaker Anna Wexler addresses the significant difference between healthcare in the United States versus healthcare abroad - particularly in the United Kingdom and Israel.

Whether patients specifically travel for treatment, or find themselves unexpectedly seeking care in a foreign location, Wexler emphasizes the importance for ALL tourists to travel with one thing: TRAVEL INSURANCE!

I am also pleased to announce that I was recently featured as a guest on an episode of HealthCare Consumerism Radio, where I had the opportunity to discuss the countless benefits of medical travel, both internationally and domestically. I invite you to listen to the informative interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KYz16zpGXM

We're starting to hear from many hospitals, independent surgi-centers and provider groups that want to be better positioned to serve self-funded employers offering medical/surgical travel options.  If you have a good story to tell us, please be in touch!  We want to boost opportunities for Centers of Excellence nationwide. 

Tell us what distinguishes your service offering in terms of cost, patient experience and satisfaction, outcomes or other quality indicators. Send us your descriptor, including photos or charts, and we will evaluate for publication in this newsletter.

Please be in touch and let me know how you are surviving and thriving in this emerging marketplace. 

Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher
Medical Travel Today

Global Health Voyager

Global Health Voyager

Global Health Voyager

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Anna Wexler, Graduate Student, MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society, Freelance Writer and Filmmaker



About Anna Wexler
Anna Wexler is freelance writer (specializing in science and travel) and documentary filmmaker who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, where she is studying the social and ethical implications of brain machine interfaces. She earned dual Bachelors of Science degrees in Brain and Cognitive Science, and Humanities and Science, with a focus in Writing, from MIT in 2007. 

Wexler specializes in science and medical writing.   She wrote and produced an exclusive magazine about the brain, Gray Matters, for the Hebrew University.  Wexler writes regularly for the Hebrew University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, IDC Herzliya, University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University, CogniFit, and others.  Her writing and accompanying photography have been published in magazines (MaximOvernight Buses18, GlimpseBudget TravelMir Afishu), books (Best Travel Writing Vol 9. -- 2012, Best Women's Travel Writing 2011, It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, A Stingray Bit My Nipple: True Stories from Real Travelers) and online (Unpious, WGBH Lab, hotels.vc, Glimpse Online, telavivcity.com).  As a student, Wexler interned at WGBH's NOVA, where she researched and edited science-related stories for national broadcast on PBS.  Wexler also completed an internship at the Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs, where she profiled prominent scientists for Harvard's website. Wexler garnered five writing awards while she was a student at MIT. 

In addition to her writing work, Wexler is also a documentary filmmaker. She was selected as a 2007-2008 filmmaker-in-residence at WGBH for her feature-length documentary, Unorthodox. The film, which she is co-directing and co-producing along with fellow filmmaker Nadja Oertelt, follows three rebellious Orthodox Jewish high school teenagers through a transformative post-high school year in Israel.  The film has been awarded nine grants and in January 2012, the filmmakers completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise finishing funds. Check out the Unorthodox website, and Facebook and Twitter.

In 2005, Wexler and Oertelt co-directed and co-produced "A Piece of Cake," a short video about a date gone wrong.  "A Piece of Cake" went on to win Cambridge University's Cinecam 48 Hours Film Festival (2005) and the Chris Pomiecko Prize (2006).  In 2007, Wexler co-produced and co-directed "Spice Cream," which documented several MIT students extracting capsaicin from chile peppers and using it to create a new ice cream flavor.  "Spice Cream" went on to win second prize in MIT's TechTV video competition.

Wexler spent five years conducting scientific research at various neuroscience labs, including those at MIT, Harvard University, Cambridge University, and the University of Iowa.  She has worked on projects relating to Theory of Mind reasoning, moral cognition, prosopagnosia, the neural and psychophysical effects of meditation, and causal learning in preschoolers.  Most recently, she investigated the neural basis of point-of-view perception in film.  Wexler's extensive neuroscience research has resulted in two awards, several abstracts, an election to the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, and publications in Neuropsychologia (2005) and Brain Research Bulletin (2011).

One of Wexler's greatest passions is adventure travel.  At the age of eighteen, Wexler purchased a one-way ticket to Katmandu.  She spent the next month trekking through the Himalayas to Mount Everest and the remainder of the year traveling throughout Asia.  Wexler has embarked on numerous self-funded and self-planned trips, including a motorcycle tour of remote Northern Vietnam, a journey on the Tran Siberian Railroad, a solo bicycle journey across Mexico, and a month-long trek on Turkey's southwest coast. (Photographs and info about many of her trips are available here.) Wexler is involved with the New England Chapter of the Explorers Club, where she helps organize events (such as an entomophagy tasting session) and gives the occasional talk about exploration. In the summer of 2013 Wexler launched The Travel Scholar, a travel consulting site that offers miles award bookings, one-on-one miles tutorials, and general travel consultations.

Wexler enjoys working with other forms of media.  In 2004, she co-hosted a weekly radio show on Boston's 88.1 WMBR that featured live in-studio jazz performances.  In 2007, Wexler co-narrated a tour of Frank Gehry's Stata Center for Untravel Media, the mobile media documentary series.  She was a member of the Boston art collective the New Factographers, where she helped direct the multimedia fashion show Paradosaurus Wreck.

Wexler currently serves as a member of MIT's Educational Council and is on the Board of Directors for the Kathmandu-based Sattya Media Arts Collective.  She used to be a professional fire performer (poi, hula hoop, breathing) and has performed at dozens of events worldwide.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): As an extensive traveler, how would you guide a patient who falls ill and needs special medical attention while traveling?

Anna Wexler (AW): On my recent trip, I personally got sick and needed medical attention.

Before traveling to Tanzania, I was in Israel for a week and found a healthcare clinic specifically for travelers.

Israel practices socialized healthcare, so the clinic I came across was private, however they did have a few local patients, and of course, tourists being treated as well.

MTT: How did you find the clinic?

AW: I searched online for a reputable clinic and came across the one I visited.

Generally, I always check guidebooks, as well, because they have a better understanding of which clinics accept travelers.

Before I was able to seek treatment, I had to call my health insurance company - Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), Massachusetts.

The overall process, in terms of coverage, was very confusing as far as what the insurance company was willing to cover and what they were not going to pay.

BCBS had a list of a few doctors they had developed relationships with in the past, but in my particular situation I needed to visit an urgent care clinic, which is why I ended up researching clinics online.

MTT: Luckily, Israel has a particularly advanced healthcare system. If you had gotten sick in a more remote part of the world, what would you have done to seek treatment?

AW: I have stayed in some very remote places, and it's tough. It depends on how sick you really are.

In some locations, there are hot spots for clinics. For example, I'd been traveling in Nepal, and I found a clinic in the guide book that has great quality Western medicine, so I felt really comfortable going there.

However, there are definitely some locations where it is a challenge to find quality healthcare.

MTT: Are language barriers often an issue?

AW: Yes, absolutely.

Previously, I found language barriers when I had to go to a doctor in a very small town for something minor. In fact, I actually travel with antibiotics now to avoid this issue.

In the past, I can specifically recall major language barriers in India and Thailand, where nobody at either location spoke English.

MTT: As an American citizen and as a traveler, what is your impression of the U.S. healthcare system versus anywhere else in the world?

AW: I spent a year living in the United Kingdom, and four years living in Israel. I can best compare the U.S. healthcare system to healthcare in these two specific locations, rather than compare travel clinics around the world.

As far as availability goes, in Israel it is much easier to make an appointment - you just schedule one yourself online.

A little bit of travel may be involved, but there is always access to care. There are no secretaries, or office staff; the patients wait by the doctor's door and are seen at the time of their scheduled appointment.

The healthcare system in the United Kingdom is similar, as well. I lived in the United Kingdom during 2005-2006, so I wasn't scheduling appointments online then, but it was very easy to make an appointment, show up and be seen by the doctor at your appointed time.

In the United States, where it is very difficult to be seen by a doctor, patients sometimes have to wait weeks for appointments.

MTT: There is a lot of criticism around healthcare reform, and the ways it mimics the current healthcare model in Massachusetts. Have you found that there is a major wait time for primary and specialty care appointments in Massachusetts?

AW: Not for me personally, but that is only because I am a student at MIT. If I am sick, or in need of a physician's care, I utilize the University's onsite healthcare facility.

MTT: What advice do you have for travelers?

AW: First and foremost, I would recommend traveling with insurance. It is important to find out if your current provider covers travel, and if so, what expenses they cover.

Often times travel insurance can be really worth it.

I always have travel insurance when I am on the road. In some circumstances, the travel insurance won't cover a certain activity, and in this case, it is important to purchase extra insurance.

To find different types of travel insurance, I use a website called World Nomads.


The Changing Face of Dental Tourism
by Amanda Duffy

Dental tourism has been around for centuries where, traditionally, countries with shared borders have seen nationals from one country traveling to the country next door for dental care that is either less expensive, or unavailable, at home.

It is hard to put a precise figure on just how many people are becoming dental tourists because of the way data is collected by individual countries. However, estimates vary widely - between 2.5 and 8 million a year, depending on what you are reading - but it is generally acknowledged as a growing phenomenon.

Today, low-cost air travel, cross-border training and globalization have simply extended the borders, opening up a growing marketplace to a burgeoning clientele. It also has to be said that the lure of - and blasé attitude toward - foreign travel has made dental tourism more than reasonable for modern travelers.


Dental tourism is no longer a case of leaping into the unknown, because information about foreign destinations is widely available both in print and online. Times have certainly moved on since severe toothache necessitated a trip along the well-trodden path to a dusty Mexican border town, where cheap and cheerful was the order of the day, but dental expertise was not.

While cost is still a motivating factor, dental tourists are more likely to be traveling for new dentures or aesthetic reasons, such as veneers or teeth whitening, as they are for conditions where they are in acute pain. This gives patients more time to research prices and destinations, giving them the ability to pick and choose, and creating a culture in which dentists offering good, reliable services will continually attract patients.

The Internet is full of product and service reviews, and medicine and dentistry is no exception. Dental tourism is a business, and providers who are serious about offering dental care to overseas patients strive to ensure their services are the best.

This supply and demand is the cornerstone of dental tourism - patients who are out-priced in their home countries are finding what they need, at a price they can afford, abroad.


People are traveling abroad for all sorts of dental treatments now - from major to minor procedures, as well as preventative care. Of course, if you are traveling for everyday dental care, whether you have it abroad or not depends on how accessible your nearest border is, and if your primary motive is to save money.

Mexico border towns may still be dusty from the desert winds, but dental care is 21st century. Many retirees and snowbirds from North America and Canada think nothing of visiting a dentist in Mexico, and having all their dental needs met, from fillings to dentures. It is easy to understand this trend when, for example, the cost of full dentures at home costs around $1,833 compared with $350 at a dentist in Mexico - a whopping 81 percent savings.

Southeast Asia is a draw to Australians and New Zealanders. Dental implants are one of the most expensive procedures, with Australians paying around AUD 4,500 at home, but at AUD 2,200 they are more than 50 percent less at a dentist in Thailand.

In Europe, it's the same story with prices for, say, dental veneers in the United Kingdom around £785, but only around £200 at a dentist in Hungary - saving more than 70 percent.


These days, while dental tourists still might travel abroad out of necessity, the facilities they find are a world away from the unqualified backstreet dentist portrayed in the media.

At dental tourist destinations throughout the world there are plenty of facilities offering professionalism and quality, with a good proportion now placing emphasis on luxury and additional services aimed at taking the stress out of your dental care. Spa treatments, on-site hotels, free airport transfers or hotel pick-ups and free accommodations are just some of the added extras dental tourists can expect.

While destinations like Thailand have been on the medical and dental tourism map for some time, it might not be for everyone. Most dental tourists tend to stick to their own continent: Americans/Canadians go to Latin America (e.g. Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama); Austrailians?New Zealanders go to southeast Asia (Thailand, Philippines); English/Irish/French/German go to Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic.

Now, there are choices across the world, at various locations that should meet everyone's tourist preferences, from beautiful beaches in Mexico, Costa Rica, Croatia, Turkey, Thailand and the Philippines to city locations, such as Bangkok, Mexico City, Budapest in Hungary and Istanbul in Turkey.

There are also more off-the-beaten track destinations, such as Romania, or even some of Mexico's interior states, such as Guanajuato, offering safe, affordable and high-quality treatment in unique and undiscovered destinations.


Dental tourism is expected to grow as patients become more confident in services abroad, and with the advent of some dental tourism companies that provide quality-checked clinics that you can rely on.

With something as important as your dental health, it is always worth doing some research yourself - search out patient reviews and clinic photos online and don't be afraid to ask questions about your dentist's qualifications and experience.

Dental tourism has changed immeasurably since those first pioneers took their tentative steps across their neighbor's border. It can be a safe and rewarding experience, providing you've done your homework and found a dentist and clinic whose credentials stack-up.

About Amanda Duffy
Amanda Duffy is an expert in the field of dental tourism and has been writing on the subject for a number of years. She is currently a key figure in the editorial team at Dental Departures, a company specializing in dental tourism that help patients save money on their dental care by matching them up with the right clinic.

Industry News

Global Wellness Institute Teams with UNWTO to Bring Wellness Tourism Increased Recognition

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), an international think tank that develops research and resources to positively impact the global wellness industry, signed an agreement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations, to jointly implement projects that address the role wellness tourism can play in helping increase tourism overall. The memorandum of understanding was co-signed by Taleb Rifai, secretary-general of the UNWTO, and Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of the GWI, during London's World Travel Market. According to recent GWI research*, wellness tourism is worth over $494 billion and it grew almost twice as fast as global tourism overall in the last year.

"We are following with great interest the evolution of wellness tourism and look forward to working closely with the GWI on initiatives that will allow our Member States to develop this important segment," said the UNWTO's secretary-general.
During the signing of the agreement, Ellis commented that the GWI is in full alignment with the UNWTO's mandate of promoting mutual understanding, tolerance and peace through tourism, stating: "This concept is a natural fit with the worlds of spa and wellness simply because these activities bring people and communities together in unique and therapeutic ways."

One of the key focuses of the affiliation is to strategize and make recommendations about how wellness tourism can be effective in overcoming seasonality. Earlier this year, Ellis presented at the first UNWTO conference focusing on this issue, held in Uruguay.

"Wellness offerings are a natural and creative way to attract more business during 'low' season," said Ellis. "There are great examples of countries and regions that have already implemented wellness campaigns to buck seasonality trends."

Ellis cites Kerala, India's 'The Land of Ayurveda' campaign, which was created to drive more travel during the traditional downturn of the monsoon season by promoting Ayurveda practices of the region and has resulted in double-digit tourism growth and a huge increase in lengths of stay. Another example is the transformation of Austria's Tirol region from a single season, ski-only destination to a year-round wellness destination dubbed "Tirol Wellness."

Other projects that the two parties will cooperate on include defining standards for wellness tourism, research and clarifying the differences between wellness tourism and medical tourism.

As a UNWTO Affiliate Member, GWI is part of a global network of more than 400 private tourism companies, non-governmental organizations, destinations and academic entities, contributing to knowledge and expertise to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism. GWI can benefit from a wide range of public-private collaboration opportunities, including a powerful platform to connect with governments around the world, and the opportunity to join UNWTO work on the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism.

To learn more about the Global Wellness Institute, visit: http://www.globalwellnessinstitute.com

About the Institute: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is an international think tank that brings together leaders and visionaries from private and public sectors to positively impact and shape the future of the wellness industry. The GWI is the umbrella organization that runs both the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) and the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC). The GWI is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the $3.4 trillion spa and wellness industry. WellnessEvidence.com, the world's first online portal to the medical evidence for common wellness approaches, is also a GWI initiative.

About UNWTO: The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations specialized agency, is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It serves as a global forum for tourism policy issues and a practical source of tourism know-how. Its membership includes 156 countries, six territories, two permanent observers and over 400 Affiliate Members.

To read the original article click here.

Industry News

Transforming Access to Healthcare
A new startup offers access to high quality medical care abroad

Medical travel booking startup MEDIGO (www.medigo.com) secures €5 Million led by Accel Partners to continue its mission of improving global access to healthcare. The financing round will help the company expand into new markets and help more patients find high quality, affordable treatment options abroad. The one-year old Berlin-based startup has partnered with close to 400 internationally accredited hospitals and clinics to serve more than 1,500 patients for procedures ranging from dental implants to hip replacements to liposuction to cutting-edge treatments for cancer.

In the past year, an estimated seven million patients chose to receive a better healthcare experience outside of their home country. Their incentives included higher quality healthcare, shorter waiting times or financial savings on treatment that may not have been otherwise possible. International hospital accreditations, such as Joint Commission International (JCI) provide patients with the assurance that hospitals abroad are not a compromise on the quality of care.

MEDIGO was developed for and with these patients. It is the world's first and only platform that allows patients to compare prices of medical treatment and book a medical procedure online in a selection of high quality hospitals worldwide. MEDIGO is novel in that it introduces the marketplace concept to healthcare; for patients, this means freedom to choose when and where they are treated and the knowledge of how much they will spend on medical treatment.

"The response that we've seen shows just how many patients want to regain control of their healthcare," said Pawel Cebula, chief operating officer. "We are empowering patients to get the treatments they need... and revolutionizing the industry by making price transparency for procedures a new standard in healthcare."

Pawel Cebula and his co-founders, Ugur Samut and Ieva Soblickaite, founded the company with the mission of supporting patients to become active participants in their healthcare decision-making. The rapidly growing number of MEDIGO patients represent a significant force for the globalization in the hyper-localized healthcare industry.

"Many patients travel out of the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom and are able to save up to 80 percent on the costs of the medical treatment," said Ugur Samut, MEDIGO CEO. "For example, patients traveling out of the United States save more than $40,000 for a hip replacement and patients from the United Kingdom save £12,000 for dental implants."

CPO Ieva Soblickaite added, "MEDIGO was built to ensure that patients have better oversight into quality of medical care, so that they can trust that the doctor and hospital they choose is of the highest possible standard."

Patients have found that they save more than $20,000 for a gastric bypass and more than $40,000 for a hip replacement if they travel abroad for care. An estimated 500,000 patients travel each year out of the United States for medical procedures within bariatrics, orthopedics and dentistry to countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Hungary, Turkey and Thailand.

MEDIGO is supported by significant financial investments: €1.9 million ($2.37 million) in seed funding from Atlantic Internet and other angel investors. Today, MEDIGO announces a €5 million ($6.24 million) A-round investment round led by Accel Partners. This funding level is significant not only for Berlin, but also in the healthcare startup space, and will be used to expand the team and enter new markets. MEDIGO is unique as a full-service platform for the medical tourism market, which is estimated to grow to €150 Billion by 2018.

MEDIGO (www.medigo.com) was founded in November 2013 with the mission of connecting patients with affordable and high quality medical care - anywhere in the world. Patients can access internationally accredited clinics and hospitals with a free-to-use, user-friendly platform. For more information, watch our How It Works video. To request a media kit, please contact press@medigo.com.

Marianna Anderle de Sylor


Industry News

Capstone Consulting Group, LLC Introduces The Healthcare Research Foundation

Capstone Consulting Group, LLC recently announced the introduction of The Healthcare Research Foundation, (THRF) a private, tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded with a primary mission to drive healthcare delivery and finance information from the private to the public setting and to share data and information for the overall social good.

"Capstone has a thorough understanding of the complexities of providing healthcare in the United States, and we realize that the current market structure and regulatory environment certainly have their flaws," said Dennis A. Baker, founder and president of THRF. "The mission of THRF will be to work with the medical community, academic community, insurance industry intermediaries, and payers following a doctoral level research pathway that appreciates that working for the general public best interest may also be in the best interest of our industry members, as well."

It is also a pleasure to announce that Michael Frank, president of Aquarius Capital and a professor at Columbia University, has joined the THRF board of directors. "I have known Dennis for more than 20 years and think that the healthcare industry will benefit significantly from his vision. With the healthcare industry going through drastic changes in technology and regulatory reform, the impact is significant to all aspects of the U.S. healthcare delivery system, including the providers, the health insurers, and the consumers of care. More energy and resources are needed around research and analysis of current and future trends in the industry. The industry should see significant benefits of THRF under Dennis' leadership, and I am happy to assist the foundation in its mission."

Our Research Scope:

The Healthcare Research Foundation will focus on researching healthcare delivery, its financial elements, and the transparency of statistical and mathematical measuring techniques required to accurately forecast future trends so that the industry members and general public can anticipate the future healthcare environment and adopt appropriate forward strategies. THRF has the distinction of being able to predicate future research not only from an academic perspective, but on some very credible and proprietary previous experiences, as well.

In addition to our doctoral level research, previous Capstone Consulting Group commercial projects will act as research building blocks for THRF. They have involved the development of medical care financing structures, adjudication arrangements, medical network development, volume purchasing agreement development and provider/physician delivery practices. More specifically:

  • Health plan financial studies involving minimum premium, self-funding and unique stop-loss arrangements
  • Custom claim adjudication systems and the development of targeted risk-sharing based withholding arrangements
  • Medical network development and the introduction of the initial private direct contracting methods
  • Developing and writing the syllabus for the first medical network contracting certification
  • Physician-hospital organizational development and developing the first financial models and corporate structures
  • Medical network pricing methods and best practice research pertaining to unit cost, utilization management, and outcomes development
  • Provider practice psychologies and the development of the first physician-based defensive medicine studies
  • Regional provider-based health plan development and the creation of the initial hospital/physician-based programs

Initial research studies will include:

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA): Discovering how different levels of actual ACA growth impact the administrative cost logics of the ACA program
  • Medical service discount contracting and the use of outcomes methodologies
  • Target-based medical risk-sharing and the impact on outcomes
  • Medical Outcomes: The relationship of target cost risk-sharing and clinical metrics
  • Defining medical outcomes in relation to cost-based targeting methods
  • Private medical network direct contracting as a viable medical management alternative
  • ACA Tax Subsidies: Addressing the tax credit variances and the impact of Medicaid
  • Electronic Medical Records: The impact on physician practice patterns
  • Physician Practice Protocols: The impact of liability limits and the physician mindset
  • Unit Medical Cost: The primary basis for healthcare discount contracting
  • Utilization controls and the pricing impact in physician and hospital discount agreements
  • The impact of additional intermediaries entering the healthcare marketplace by 2020

About Capstone Consulting Group:
Capstone Consulting Group, LLC was established in 2007 by Dennis A. Baker, who has over 38 years in the financial sciences field and who leads the firm as principal. Mr. Baker is also a founder and adjunct professor at the Insurance & Risk Management Center at the University of Houston Downtown's College of Business and is a 2016 Ph.D. candidate focusing on healthcare finance.

Capstone provides fee-based actuarial, auditing and advisory services to employers sponsoring general asset healthcare plans ranging from 200 to 25,000 employees, medical service providers, attorneys and the professional insurance community.

Contact Dennis A. Baker at 713-275-4044
Or visit www.TheHealthcareResearchFoundation.org for additional information.

Industry News

Sagres Vacations and Medical Port Announce Medical Tourism Programs
Sagres Vacations and Medical Port Announce Three Customized Medical Tourism Programs

Medical Port, the Portuguese Medical Tourism Facilitator that acts as the gateway to private medical care in Portugal, and Sagres Vacations, a U.S.-based tour operator focused on delivering enriching tour and travel programs in Portugal, have established a partnership to promote specific medical tourism packages for consumers in the United States.

Upholding the customers' needs above all and being able to attend to their individual needs and dreams, both companies have decided to partner and promote dedicated medical tourism packages for the North American market.

Portugal has been increasing its reputation in the North American market as a preferred touristic destination in Europe, but until now it has been an unknown destination for Americans seeking medical travel. With this in mind, Medical Port and Sagres Vacations have created the following customized programs;

PREVENTION IS THE KEY A one week medical tourism package for couples to reinforce their commitment to healthy living by combining a thorough health examination in internationally accredited hospitals with Mediterranean cuisine sessions, country-side walking and stress-free activities.

MY HEALTH IS MY CHOICE aims at identifying the causes for obesity and tackles them in a holistic way (mind and body) in order to achieve sustainable results. This two-week program also includes utilizing mindfulness-based therapies as a powerful tool to make effective behavioral changes and several detox sessions to remove unwanted excesses.

SMALL DETAILS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE is especially designed for two or more female friends who want to feel and look younger without the need for surgery. You and your friends will "shine" and feel like movie stars. It includes dermo-fillers, private shopping experience, make-up and hairdresser sessions and other surprises. A truly 100 percent girls package to start 2015!

Three programs to start 2015 with an important objective:  Ensure your health comes first. Learn more at http://www.medicalport.org.

About Medical Port
Medical Port is the first Global Medical Tourism Facilitator dedicated to gather Portugal's expertise in Medical Services, as well as renowned hospitality in the benefit of the client.

The company's goal is to provide clients with proper alternatives for medical treatments in private hospitals and clinics in Portugal -- proper meaning cost-effective, quality driven, according to clients' convenience and customized to specific needs. Medical Port makes sure the entire process is quick, smooth and trouble-free, making sure your health comes first.

About Sagres Vacation
Sagres Vacations is a full service travel agency and tour operator bringing clients' dream destination to reality. The company helps clients to create memorable journeys to Portugal and around the world by highlighting the local traditions, cuisine, history, and iconic sites of all the destinations.  Our extensive vacation and tour planning services and experience will give you a perfect itinerary, tailored specifically to meet your travel needs. 

The difference in travel is in its quality, service and details. At Sagres Vacations they pride themselves on offering a personalized travel experience for all its customers.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

IV International Exhibition of Medical Tourism, SPA&Wellness - Healthcare Travel Expo
On April 15-17, 2015 in the EC "KyivExpoPlaza" will be held the IV International Exhibition of Medical Tourism, SPA&Wellness- Healthcare Travel Expo - Ukraine's first exhibition, which covers the world tendencies of the new dynamically developing direction - medical tourism.

The purpose of the Healthcare Travel Expo is consolidation of medical tourism and healthcare industry specialists, heads of field-oriented departments, representatives of embassies, local, regional and international associations and organizations, representatives of international clinics, rehabilitation centers, SPA&Wellness resorts in Europe, Asia and America to develop medical tourism market. Professional platform Healthcare Travel Expo is a meeting place for doctors, experts, companies working in the field of medical tourism, representatives of professional industry organizations, travel agencies, representatives of insurance companies, medical tourism agencies, VIP-guests, suppliers, buyers and consumers in order to attract new customers, establish business contacts, exchange experience with foreign colleagues, establish bilateral cooperation with the world's leading clinics, rehabilitation centers, health and SPA&Wellness resorts without going abroad.

During its existence the International Exhibition of Medical Tourism gained trust and recognition.

The Organizer of the Exhibition is LMT Company - Organizer of the leading events of the healthcare industry.

Official Support: Verkhovna Rada Committee on Family Matters, Youth Policy, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Health of Ukraine, State Agency of Ukraine for Tourism and Resorts, NAMS of Ukraine.

With the assistance of the Hungarian National Tourist Office, Trade and Investment Promotion Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Kyiv, Polish Tourist Organization, Czech Tourism Representative Office in Ukraine, Embassy of Malaysia in Ukraine, the Commercial Section of Austrian Embassy - ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, Cuba Chamber of Commerce, Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kyiv.

International Partners: DOĞA FUARCILIK, Atlas Business Service Ltd, Intersana.

The uniqueness of the Exhibition is caused by intense exposition, measured business and training programs.

The Exhibition will present national expositions, leading clinics, medical and rehabilitation centers, health and SPA&Wellness resorts of Austria, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Georgia, Israel, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, United States, Cuba and many other countries.

A feature of the Exhibition are the business programs - Business Point and Buyers program, which allow participants to maximize time using - hold productive meetings, schedule of which is pre-planned.

In the framework of the Exhibition also will be held numerous practical events - seminars, trainings, workshops for beginners and professionals in medical tourism that will have opportunity to learn about effective models of building business, secrets of searching target audience, rules of working with international clinics and companies that work in medical tourism, current problems of insurance and visa, as well as many other issues.

The undeniable advantage of the International Exhibition of Medical Tourism, SPA&Wellness- Healthcare Travel Expo is its proximity to the main event of healthcare industry in Ukraine - International Medical Forum "Medicine Innovations - the Nation's Health". The Forum is large-scale complex innovation-oriented event of the healthcare industry of Ukraine, which combines a powerful interdisciplinary scientific-practical program, the largest specialized exhibitions in Ukraine and creates international platform for the exchange of experience and training of healthcare professionals. According to the organization, number of exhibitors and geography, large-scale of exposition, intensity of scientific-practical and business program, activity of attendance, the Forum is considered to be the main event in the healthcare industry and annually unites more than 12,000 professionals. Traditionally, on the platform of the Forum will be the International Medical Congress "Introduction of medical science advances into healthcare practice in Ukraine". In the framework of the Congress will take place over 40 scientific-practical events in various fields of medicine.

Exhibitors of Healthcare Travel Expo have a unique opportunity to take an active part in the Congress, both as speakers, presenting their projects, methods and techniques of prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and as the listeners, getting new professional contacts of Ukrainian scientists and physicians.

Free Entrance in case of pre-registration.

The Exhibition is your chance to be at the origin of the rapidly developing direction - medical tourism, which in the future will not have borders and will guarantee new perspectives in business development.

Facts and figures of the Exhibition and Forum 2014:

5078 m2 of exposition area
350 exhibitors of IMF
96 exhibitors of HTEXPO
Countries: Austria, Spain, Italy, China, Lithuania, Malaysia, Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the USA, Thailand, Turkey, Hungary, Ukraine, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan.
10252 registered professional visitors
Geography of visitors: the Netherlands, the USA, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Moldova, Russia.
55 scientific-practical events
30 master-classes
76 organizers and co-organizers

Welcome to participate and to attend
April 15-17, 2015 in the EC "KyivExpoPlaza" on IV International Exhibition of medical tourism, SPA& Wellness- Healthcare Travel Expo

Contact Information:
Tel.: +380 (44) 526-90-10, 526-94-87, 526-90-30
E-mail: marketing@htexpo.com.ua

Industry News

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors
100 percent of all donations on MatchingDonors.com go to help people get organ transplants on MatchingDonors.com.

MatchingDonors is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation's largest online living organ donor organization finding living organ donors for people needing organ transplants.  In conjunction with various health organizations throughout the United States we have created a very successful Public Service Announcement campaign to help people recognize that they can save lives by being a living organ donor, to encourage them to register as an altruistic living organ donor, and to make them realize they can help save the lives of people needing organ transplants by donating other things. This MatchingDonors Living Organ Donor Initiative program has already saved thousands of lives.

Upcoming Events

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress


January 26-29, 2015 - Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE
To learn more or to register click here.

International Health Tourism Conference


February 26-28, 2015 - Athens, Greece
To learn more or to register click here.

Kuwait Medical Tourism Conference & Exhibition

March 16-18, 2015 - Crowne Plaza Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait
To learn more or to register click here.

Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress


March 18-21, 2015 - Moscow Expocenter, Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair India


March 21-23, 2015 - Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India
To learn more or to register click here.

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015


March 23-25, 2015 - Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.
To learn more or to register click here.

VI International Medical Forum & IV International Exhibition of Medical Tourism - Healthcare Travel Expo

April 15-17, 2015 - EC KyivExpoPlaza, Kyiv, Ukraine
To learn more or to register click here.

2nd Istanbul Medical, Health, Geriatrics, Termal, Spa & Wellness Tourism Fair & Congress

May 7-9, 2015 - Istanbul Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.

22nd Kazakhstan International Healthcare Exhibition

May 13-15, 2015 - Atakent Exhibition Centre, Almaty, Kazakhstan
To learn more or to register click here.

Destination: Health Canadian Medical Tourism Trade Show

August 13-15, 2015 - Montréal Convention Centre, Montréal, Québec, Canada
To learn more or to register click here.

9th Annual 2015 Global Spa & Wellness Summit

November 13-15, 2015 - Mexico City, Mexico
To learn more or to register click here.

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Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

Medical Travel Today - the authoritative newsletter for the worldwide medical travel industry - is pleased to announce publication of a new book, "Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making."

Featuring 40 of the newsletter's most compelling interviews from the first five years of publication, the volume chronicles the explosive growth of international medical tourism as witnessed and experienced by some of the key stakeholders and players. A must-read for anyone interested or involved in the industry.

News in Review

U.S. Hospital Looks to China for More Medical Tourists

Usa.chinadaily.com- Ten years ago, Children's Hospital Los Angeles received its first patient from the Chinese mainland, with that child patient -- who had traveled thousands of miles seeking more advanced medical treatment -- gaining celebrity status of sorts. Today, such travel is commonplace.

More Chinese Travel Abroad for Medical Treatment

Wantchinatimes.com-More Chinese nationals have become wealthy enough to afford medical treatment abroad, bolstering the growth of businesses catering to this emerging trend, reports Nanjing's Yangcheng Evening News.

Indian Medical Tourism Growing at 30 Percent: Minister

Business-standard.com-Indian healthcare providers are giving quality par excellence at a fraction of the cost, which is why medical tourism in the country is growing at a rate of 30 percent, Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said Thursday.

Center Urged to Set Up Body to Promote Medical Tourism

Vancouverdesi.com-Over 50 medical experts from across India Saturday urged the central government to set up a "national board" to promote the country as a medical tourism destination.

Health and Wellness Industry to Get Boost from Karnataka Government

Timesofindia.indiatimes.com-With health spas, cosmetic surgeries and detox regimens beckoning an aging population to Karnataka from across India and abroad, the health and wellness tourism industry is poised for a big leap.

Unequal Treatment Where Employers Use Quality Control to Shape Healthcare

Latimes.com-Forty miles north of Seattle, in the largest building in the world, Boeing assembles its biggest commercial airliners.

Seeing the Doctor Abroad: Why Medical Tourism is Booming in Asia

Biznews.com-The lines snaking into Bangladesh's overwhelmed hospitals are often so long, says Nusrat Hussein Kiwan, that they extend into the street outside - too many patients seeking too few quality doctors.


Do you know of any available job openings relative to the medical travel industry? We encourage readers to submit any available, relevant job opportunities along with its descriptions and requirements for fellow readers and industry professionals to consider. All submissions are appreciated.


Editor's Note: The information in Medical Travel Today is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The newsletter's providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of the information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused - directly or indirectly - by or from the information. All information should be considered a supplement to - and not a substitute for - the care provided by a licensed healthcare provider or other appropriate expert. The appearance of advertising in this newsletter should in no way be interpreted as a product or service endorsement by the newsletter's providers.